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Candidates Vying For UNIDO DG Position Meet Member States

Ebuka Daniel

A forum of candidates for the post of Director General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) has been held at the Organization’s headquarters.

It provided an opportunity for UNIDO’s Member States to meet and to question the three nominees: Bernardo Calzadilla Sarmiento of the Plurinational State of Bolivia, who is Managing Director of UNIDO’s Directorate of Digitalization, Technology and Agri-Business; Arkebe Oqubay of Ethiopia, who is Senior Minister and Special Adviser to the Prime Minister of Ethiopia; and Gerd Müller of Germany, who is the country’s Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development.

During the five-hour meeting, a statement from UNDO said the nominated candidates presented their respective visions for the Organization.

Thereafter, Member States posed questions directly to the candidates, touching on various topics including climate change; the response to the COVID-19 pandemic; industrial strategies and policies, and economic transformation; the Fourth Industrial Revolution and digitalization; gender equality and women’s empowerment; job creation for youth; cooperation with middle-income countries; partnering with the private sector; UNIDO’s global forum function; and the Sustainable Development Goals.

“Today was a key step in the selection process for the post of Director General of UNIDO,” said the Chair of the forum, Ambassador Darmansjah Djumala, Permanent Representative of Indonesia to UNIDO and President of the Industrial Development Board.

“The forum offered an opportunity for the Member States of UNIDO to get better acquainted with the candidates and their respective strategic visions for UNIDO, providing valuable insights to inform their decision on who should head this Organization.”

The members of the Industrial Development Board of UNIDO will convene at its forty-ninth session, taking place from 12 to 15 July 2021, to elect and recommend a candidate for appointment as Director General for a term of four years to the General Conference, which will hold its nineteenth session from 29 November to 3 December 2021.

The candidate to be appointed at the General Conference will succeed the current Director General of UNIDO, LI Yong of China.

The previous heads of UNIDO were Kandeh K. Yumkella of Sierra Leone (2005-2013); Carlos Magariños of Argentina (1997-2005); Mauricio de Maria y Campos of Mexico (1993-1997); Domingo L. Siazon Jr. of the Philippines (1985-1993); Abd-El Rahman Khane of Algeria (1975-1985); and Ibrahim Helmi Abdel-Rahman of Egypt (1967-1974).

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